African Business' annual top company ranking includes all companies listed on various African exchanges. This means that a few companies, despite their size or importance, will not appear in these rankings.
Information on unlisted companies is scarce and difficult to verify as reporting standards across the continent are not standardised.
In addition, in a globalised world, base nationalities of companies are often blurred. For example, should mining giant BHP Billiton, which is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange as well as in the UK and Australia, be included in our list?
Nevertheless, it would be remiss to ignore some of the largest and most successful African companies even if they do not appear in our charts. For example, the largest, in terms of revenues, is Algeria's Sonatrach. In 2006, revenue was in excess of $60bn and given the steep rise in the price of crude, 2007 revenue is expected to be around $80bn. By way of contrast, revenue figures for our table leader, Anglo American, is $36bn and Sasol comes in at $15bn. A similar rationale would apply to most other state owned companies involved in the oil and gas sectors in...